Arsenal Women will play Okzhetpes of Kazakhstan on 18th August in their first Champions League qualifying round. Arsenal are in the League Path of the qualifiers with fifteen other teams, who are split into four mini-tournaments featuring a semi-final, a final and a third place match. (Teams from the third placed match do not have the opportunity to qualify, it’s just a further game for some of the smaller teams in this stage of the draw to justify travel expenses).
If the Gunners beat in a one-off game (venue TBD), they will play the winners of PSV Eindhoven v Lokomotiv Moskva in the final of that mini-tournament on August 21st. If Arsenal win that tie, they will play a two-legged playoff match against either Rosengard, Slavia Praha, Lyon or Wolfsburg (they cannot be drawn against Manchester City as the teams are from the same country) to qualify for the group stage.
It’s the beginning of a hectic schedule for Arsenal, who will have at least nine players at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which run from 21st July until 5th August. It’s not yet clear whether those players will be available for the Champions League qualifiers. New coach Jonas Eidevall will take charge of the team after his contract at Rosengard finishes on July 12th to take pre-season with some players already back at London Colney for testing.
That’s the most insane qualification method I’ve ever seen!
Madness! This is pushing the limits of the players and coaches. Hopefully everyone’s up for it.
No disrespect but who???
The only worry is will we have 11 players fit and ready to hit the ground running after the Olympics?
Okzhetpes. Right. Okzhetpes.
Sounds like an STI 🤭
thanks for laying it out Tim!! As a Dutchie i’d be excited for Arsenal to face PSV 🙂 shoul alsp be winnable & i’ll love the press attention it’ll get in both Dutch & English media.
btw, when will the draw be that decides who we’d face in round 2? that seems to make quite a difference… slavia praha or lyon….
The draw for Round 2 is August 22nd.
That seems like a lot of matches for a team that finished 3rd in a top women’s league. And having to beat one of Lyon or Wolfsburg probably? Oof. Here’s hoping for a new manager bounce in everyone’s step
The two clubs are about 3000 miles apart. Wherever it’s played it’s a hell of a round trip for any game, let alone one which is likely to be a total mismatch.
Maybe football needs to think about its carbon footprint as well as the strain on the players? The journey will be tougher than the game!